Illinois DUI Archives

Will Public Perception Color DUI Conviction in Cop Case?

Written on April 15, 2009 at 11:02 AM :: Filed in the Illinois DUI category

The uproar over this week’s cop DUI case, see the recent Tribune article, reminds us of the importance of public perception in Illinois DUI cases…and the stakes in DUIs that involve crashes.

In this tragic case, a Chicago police detective is accused of driving under the influence, smashing into the back of a car carrying Andrew Cazares, 23, and Fausto Manzera, 21. Both were killed…and Joseph Frugoli was released from jail on a $500,000 bond.

Unfortunately, DUIs can cause tragic consequences, including injury and death. This Chicago DUI accusation is no exception…and the outrage and pain of the families of the deceased is understandable.

Though it is understandable that the public would be upset about a police officer’s reckless behavior, Frugoli deserves a fair trial just like anyone else facing Illinois DUI consequences. Unfortunately, the public uproar over the case means that his DUI lawyer will need to fight twice as hard to secure fair consideration of the facts at hand. It’s a good example of how public perception colors Illinois DUI cases…the public is ready and willing to act punitively in order to deter DUI. Like it or not, this is a reality of DUI law in Chicago and Illinois. Luckily, the right attorney can fight the odds and bring the facts of the case to bear by constructing a DUI defense aimed at protecting their client’s rights.

Another Illinois DUI Punishment?

Written on March 25, 2009 at 4:34 PM :: Filed in the Illinois DUI category

You might think that an arrest, an embarrassing judicial procedure, and the many fines, fees, and other consequences of an Illinois DUI arrest are bad enough. But Illinois residents now have something else to fear: the Illinois police are preparing to release the names of DUI offenders to the media on a weekly basis.

What does this mean for you? Simply put, it’s more important than ever that you get the right lawyer to help defend you in your DUI case. The right Illinois DUI attorney gives you a much better chance of prevailing in court…no matter how serious the charges. And with the added risk of having your name smeared all over the papers, doing it right the first time has even more urgency than ever.

The Illinois police’s plan highlights the serious consequences of Illinois DUIs, which include:

  • Potential jail time. Depending on the severity of the offense, you could face incarceration for driving under the influence.
  • Increased insurance fees. Insurance companies classify those convicted of a DUI as high risk, and hike-up their rates. You could face significantly raised premiums if you’re convicted of a DUI in Chicago or any other part of Illinois.
  • Permanent record. Though the right Illinois DUI attorney can help with license reinstatement a DUI conviction stays on your permanent record, leading to…
  • Career consequences. Employers routinely conduct background checks of prospective hires and many will not employ convicted felons at all, and even those with misdemeanor DUI convictions can have trouble finding a job.

These are only a few of the costs of a DUI conviction. Luckily, you are entitled to competent legal representation when you’re accused of a DUI - call me today. I will give your case the attention it needs. My background as a prosecutor with intensive experience in the DUI system can help you. Have you been accused of an Illinois DUI? Don’t delay (or risk seeing your name on the nightly news). Call today for more information and a confidential, complimentary case evaluation.

Possible charges against top Illinois DUI cop for False Arrests

Written on March 16, 2009 at 9:44 AM :: Filed in the Illinois DUI category

In a front page story titled “D-U-Lie” the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Cook County Prosecutors are considering filing criminal charges against a Chicago Police Officer. According to the Sun-Times, prosecutors continue to investigate the work of Chicago Police Officer Joe D. Parker. The investigation into Parker, who is one of Chicago’s top DUI cops, stems from a July 2008 DUI arrest of Raymond Bell. In that case, the Parker’s report indicates that Mr. Bell failed two field sobriety tests, the “walk-and-turn” and “one-leg-stand” tests. In his description of Mr. Bell’s performance Parker stated that Mr Bell “staggered” and was “unsteady.” Parker also said that Bell hopped, swayed and used his arms for balance while performing the tests. According to the Sun-Times, a video of the arrest shows that Mr. Bell appeared “perfectly balanced” while performing all of the tests. Upon seeing the video, which was subpoenaed by Mr. Bell’s DUI Attorney, Prosecutor’s dropped the DUI charges against Mr. Bell. In addition to considering filing criminal charges against Parker, prosecutors are reviewing dozens of other DUI arrests made by him, and may dismiss those charges as well.

In Illinois, DUI law is very complicated and the ramifications are severe. Unfortunately the outcome of many DUI cases rests entirely on the testimony of the Police Officer as to his or her “observations” of the person arrested. Typically, courts give a great deal of weight to the credibility of the testimony of the arresting officer, but Parker’s case, as well as others, show that sometimes police officers lie. Whether they are motivated by increased overtime pay for court appearances or by the accolades of making a large number of DUI arrests, the consequences for those wrongly accused is devastating. People may face the loss of their driving privileges, enormous fines, and even jail time simply because a police officer lied. Unfortunately, far too many people arrested for DUI believe that they cannot get justice and simple plea “guilty” to their DUI charge. Today’s news shows why it is so important to have an experienced and competent Illinois DUI attorney representing your interests. An Illinois DUI attorney will investigate your case thoroughly, expose any mistakes or false accusations and ensure that your rights are protected.

Illinois DUI Cop Accused of False Arrests

Written on February 26, 2009 at 5:14 PM :: Filed in the Illinois DUI category

The Sun Times reports that a second DUI officer, Joe Parker, has been charged with false arrest in Illinois DUI cases pending an internal police investigation. This scandal comes just one short year after John Haleas, another Chicago cop, was accused of lying in his reports and failing to perform the proper Illinois DUI tests. Haleas, who had been given awards for the high number of DUI arrests he had made is still under investigation.

Many if not most police officers conduct themselves professionally and ethically. Unfortunately, the bad behavior of certain Illinois police officers demonstrates how important it is for everyone accused of DUI to have a competent and skilled DUI attorney standing up for them. Many Illinois drivers don’t realize that field sobriety tests are highly unscientific and already are prone to mistakes and false alarms. That combined with police officers who unethically falsify reports or falsely claim to have given tests complicates the issue still further.

Though some people have already collected money from the Chicago police department for damages associated with these miscarriages of justice, both officers continue performing their job duties while under police department internal investigations. Since the law does not always ensure justice and fair treatment, it is important for drivers who have been accused of DUI to know their rights. Everyone is allowed legal representation at an Illinois DUI hearing. The services of an experienced and aggressive DUI attorney can uncover malfeasance, reveal inaccuracies in the investigation, and protect the client’s personal rights.

The right Illinois DUI attorney can fight for your rights and save your driving privileges. Statistics show that unrepresented drivers get DUI convictions the vast majority of the time. Don’t let this happen to you.

2009 Illinois DUI Law Changes

Written on February 13, 2009 at 12:20 AM :: Filed in the Illinois DUI category

January 1 2009, brought changes and updates to Illinois DUI laws that will dramatically affect the potential penalties, even for first-time offenders.

Here’s a quick overview of the relevant changes:

  • No more judicial driving permits. Those drivers who are suspended either for having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above, or for refusing to submit to the breathalyzer test will no longer be able to receive permission to drive to and from work or school. Instead, suspended drivers must get monitoring device driving permits(MDDP) for the duration of their suspension, which requires a Blood Alcohol Interlock Ignition device (BAIID) in the car at all times. While the monitoring device driving permit is far more expensive to the driver, it is also less restrictive. Previously, suspended drivers, upon receiving a Judicial Driving Permit (JDP), were allowed only to drive to and from work, school, or for medical purposes only. Under the new MDDP, the driver may drive at any time, as long as the device is installed on his or her car.

  • Doubled Illinois DUI penalties. Summary suspension periods are doubled under the new Illinois law, which means that drivers who have 0.08 or over blood alcohol content (BAC) will automatically have their driving privileges suspended for six months instead of three months, regardless of the outcome of their DUI case. Drivers who refuse to submit to breathalyzer testing will have their driving privileges suspended for a full year

  • Higher fees. These new penalties and procedures mean that anyone accused or convicted of an Illinois DUI will face even higher fees than before. The installation of the BAIID device is very expensive and it is the driver’s responsibility to pay all costs associated with it.

What does this mean for drivers? Clearly, the need for an aggressive and experienced Illinois DUI lawyer is more important than ever before. You need and deserve a DUI attorney who thoroughly understands the new laws and their implications for drivers.

The above represent only a few of the changes made to the Illinois DUI laws in recent months. If you have questions or concerns, or have been accused of a DUI in Illinois, contact an experienced attorney immediately. I’m offering free case consultations to those with DUI concerns…call today for more information and your free, confidential evaluation.